The Nobodies Album
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The Nobodies Album

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  2,026 ratings  ·  498 reviews
From the bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel comes a dazzling literary mystery about the lengths to which some people will go to rewrite their past.

Bestselling novelist Octavia Frost has just completed her latest book—a revolutionary novel in which she has rewritten the last chapters of all her previous books, removing clues about her personal life concealed within, e...more
Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2010)
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Annalisa
I loved Parkhurst writing, how she so precisely describes human emotion where I can connect with the moment and say "yes, I know what you're talking about; I've felt that too." I love it when a book captures my own epiphanies and experiences in life and feeds them back to me.

It is because of this that I connected with Octavia Frost. Battling regrets in her personal life, she writes a novel compiled of the endings of her previous works with new endings. On the day she is submitting the project to...more
Kari
Carolyn Parkhurst makes me want to write novels. "The Dogs of Babel," one of my favorite books, reads like it was written effortlessly.

The skill involved in crafting "The Nobodies Album" is a little more apparent. The premise is that best-selling author Octavia Frost has decided to rewrite the endings of each of her books. The original and revised endings are woven throughout the book, as Octavia reconnects with her estranged son, a rock star, who has been accused of murdering his girlfriend.

My...more
Roxanne
I received an advance copy of this book free through a giveaway here on GoodReads. Doubleday took an interesting marketing tact here; I was told when I won that, although I'm not required to write a review of the book, that that was kind of the idea and they hoped I'd review it. Sadly, I'm not sure they'll like the review I have to write about this one.

First, though, I want to say that I really like Parkhurst's work. I thought The Dogs of Babel was a wonderful book, and Lost and Found was a fun...more
Nancy
I saw Richard III, a play when I was 21 years old. I was in London at the time with my sister. With all the Shakespeare talk along with the British accents, I understood very little of it. In fact, I only remember the scattering of the white and red rose petals at the end. Something about the war of the roses. I was bored throughout. I left the theater yawning. Another girl from our group was deeply affected and and kept talking about the beautiful symbolism.

Phht! Symbolism. Boring.

I saw Richard...more
Lisa
Octavia Frost, the protagonist in Parkhurst's latest novel, is a bestselling novelist, whose career took off after a family tragedy. With several novels under her belt, Frost thinks she has come up with a revolutionary idea to create an anthology of the last chapters of all her novels, but with different endings. Is it really her novels she wants to rewrite or her own history?

Frost's rock-star son, Milo, has been estranged from his mother; but a murder accusation forces them to confront their is...more
Lillian
This book has a gimmick in it and I should have stopped as soon as I discovered it. I hate gimmicks. The main character - a self-absorbed mid-level author - has just finished a strange collection of "stories." She's gone back and rewritten the endings to all of her previous novels. Yep, the original endings and the rewrites are interspersed throughout the story. Gimmick. The main "frame" of the story is actually pretty good. The author is trying to reconnect with her son and help him beat a murd...more
Lisa
I finally got around to reading this, even though I won it as an ARC ages ago... It's a story within a story, that has more stories within. Confused yet? The main character is an author who is rewriting the endings of her novels, which are excerpted throughout this novel. The problem is, they read more like short stories to me; I don't quite see how they succeeded as actual novels. There's also a huge detail conveniently left out and revealed at an opportune time, affecting the murder investigat...more
Cheryle
Can we re-write endings? Octavia Frost is delivering a manuscript to her publisher that has rewritten the endings of all her books when she discovers that her estranged son has been accused of murder. Through the old and new endings, as well as in the telling of her story, we learn of her own personal tragedy and how it affected her and her son.

An exploration of love, loss, regret, relationships, and a mother's love for her child. I really liked this book!
Robert Starner
This is a greatly entertaining read with many fascinating layering well executed by the author. The story line is author Octavia Frost is submitting her latest manuscript to her editor in New York when she sees the newsfeed on Times Square indicating that her son, a successful rock singer, has been arrested for the alleged murder of his girlfriend. So Frost flies to San Franciso to aid her son in any way she can. They haven't spoken in four years. Their relationship is strained due to circumstan...more
bookczuk
I don't remember what it was that first called this book to my attention, but I suspect that it was my previous experiences with the author in The Dogs of Babel (enthralling, well written and sad) and Lost and Found (a bit jumpy for me in the telling of the tale, with switches between POV, but still compelling.) The basic story here, in The Nobodies Album really captured me. Maybe because I am the mother to a son, maybe because I've often played the "what if" game when looking back, to wonder ho...more
Vicky
I have been waiting eagerly for something new from Caroyln Parkhurst, and with The Nobodies Album, she does not disappoint. This novel weaves a story about overcoming family tragedy and conflict, with an author’s attempt to rewrite her own history.

While Octavia Frost, a best-selling author, is in the process of publishing a revolutionary tome in which she rewrites the endings to all of her published novels, she discovers that her estranged rock star son has been arrested for murder. Though she...more
Megan
I almost didn't read this after I discovered that the author also did Lost and Found, which is by far one of the worst books I have ever read. So glad I gave her another chance because this was wonderful. I love books where you have to figure out the back story on your own even though the narrator speaks as though the reader already knows everything. In this book, the narrator is an author whose son has been accused of murder. The story unfolds in present time, but the real story is in the excer...more
Rachel
May 30, 2010 Rachel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women w/ adult children; parents of young children; ages late 20s-early 30s; other authors
This was a really innovative book. It drew me in, and the story was so layered I felt like I was reading in 3-D as opposed to 2-D.

The theme of this book is death, so it's kind of melancholic, thoughtful, and philosophical. Believing the genre to be a straight-up murder mystery, I was surprised that "death" was not an exciting fast-paced type of feel, but rather the thoughtful, slow-paced feel I just mentioned. I was surprised to find that the present-day mystery wasn't nearly as important as th...more
Samantha
After reading some of the other reviews of this book on goodreads, I am in the minority on thinking this book was just "okay." I'm not even really sure I thought that it was just okay. It is, at best, in my mind, mediocre. The words agonizingly boring come to mind. To me, that's as good as it gets.

Octavia Frost is dropping off a manuscript for her most recent book in NYC when she reads a ticker saying her estranged son, Milo, has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend. This book is books...more
Katie
I've been an evangelist for Carolyn Parkhurst ever since I read The Dogs of Babel almost ten years ago; it is one of my favorite novels (we're talking top 10 here, people). While The Nobodies Album didn't outdo Dogs, in my humble opinion, it was still an intense read. Parkhurst has a way of crafting characters who get under your skin; you become invested in them, and you are really with them for the duration of their journey.

In brief, this book is about a widowed author who has been cut out of h...more
Eileen Granfors
Carolyn Parkhurst has been at the top of my favorites list since I read her first book, the magical Dogs of Babel with its complex love story and beautiful lovers who are poles apart. I lost sleep awaiting this new book, "The Nobodies Album." Darn.

"The Nobodies Album" begins when Octavia Frost, an author of some renown, finds out her son is the prime suspect in the murder of his girl friend, Bettina. The place she learns of the accusation is an eyestopper.

Octavia flies across the US to try to he...more
Anne Broyles
I started this book this morning and finished it this evening--found lots of excuses to read because I was immediately hooked. As a writer, as a mother, as a reader, Parkhurst's language and sensibility drew me into both the narrative and unusual structure. I was fascinated by the idea of an author revising the endings of previously published books, but the mother-son relationship with all its complicated permutations is what kept me reading even though I was also interested in the mystery that...more
Jenny
I thoroughly enjoyed Carolyn Parkhurst's first 2 books, Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, which were both fast paced, light, and intriguing reads, so I was excited when I heard she had a new book coming out. The idea was certainly unique; the different nature took a bit to get used to but was engaging after that.

Octavia Frost is the best-selling author of 7 novels who has just traveled to New York City to personally hand in the manuscript for what she hopes will be her next novel. In an unpreced...more
Tara
I read The Dogs of Babel a while ago and still thought about that book and wanted to read something else by this author. I found this book had an imaginative plot and some interesting plot twists. I really enjoyed that the author showed a lot of what the characters felt in unconventional ways. I really grew to care about what happened to the characters. The end of the book was a bit fractured (jumping from what happened in the future, then back to the past, and then further in the past, but I go...more
Joanna
I enjoyed this book more than Parkhurst's "Dogs of Babel," but less than "Lost and Found." I keep reading her, I think, because she is such an ambitious writer. She really throws herself into new ideas and seeems unafraid to write books that are unique and literary and sometimes beautiful in their humanity.

I liked the story of this book, the semi-famous mother and son so estranged that they keep up with one another mainly through gossip magazines. I liked the buried tragedy in their shared past...more
Andy Katin
A very enjoyable somewhat literary reading experience, with great writing that I wanted to savor. Particularly moving were the interspersed chapters of a fictitious book written by the narrator in which she goes over previous books she has written and provides the original last chapter and a changed one. The settings were varied and imaginative but all had to do with tragedy and loss and a writer's use of her personal life to create fiction. The main story of "The Nobodies' Album" is a somewhat...more
Jennifer
The Nobodies Album could be classified as a mystery novel. After all, the plot hinges on whether novelist Octavia Frost’s son Milo killed his girlfriend Bettina. Milo isn’t just any old accused murderer though. He is a famous rock star—the lead singer for a group called Pareidolia. His arrest for the murder of Bettina is national news. In fact, Octavia finds out about the murder on a news ticker in Times Square. She doesn’t hear it from Milo directly because they’ve been estranged for the past f...more
Amy
I've resisted the desire to read this novel since it was published ... primarily because I had such a horrible, ugly reaction to her novel The Dogs of Babel. A throw the book across the room, refuse to continue reading kind of reaction. So, as you can imagine, I wasn't sure if I even wanted to read this one. However, I heard Ann from Books on the Nightstand say that she'd read it and that it was really good. Since I trust Ann's taste in all things bookish, I decided to go ahead and give it a rea...more
Jonita
Author Octavia Frost is fighting a whole host of personal demons. She's estranged from her rock star son. Her daughter and husband died many years ago in a tragic accident. Since so many of her novels carry an element of personal truth contained within her fictional words, she decides to rewrite the endings of her novels in a supplemental volume titled The Nobodies Album. She'll erase any truth out of the endings and by doing so, may help to erase the pain of her past.

After completing The Nobodi...more
Chelsea
Octavia Frost is on her way to drop off her latest manuscript to her editor in NYC, when she sees a news blurb that her son is accused of murdering his girlfriend. This is only big news because her son is Milo Frost, lead singer of the very popular band Pareidolia. Though it's been more than four years since she's seen her Milo, she flies out to be with him immediately. When she gets there, she meets the colorful cast of characters Milo has surrounded himself with, begins to salvage her relation...more
Sarah
Carolyn Parkhurst is an amazing novelist; if you've never read The Dogs of Babel (2003) then you definitely need to add it to your wish list right away. Her ability to shock readers and to write characters so intimately is truly a gift.

Octavia Frost is a bestselling novelist whose latest publication features re-writes of all the last chapters of all the books she's ever written and is entitled "The Nobodies Album". While en route to delivering the finished manuscript to her editor, Octavia catch...more
Lynne Perednia
When we first meet Octavia Frost, Dear Reader, she could come across as a smug, knowledgeable woman more proud of her novels than her estranged rock star son. But, as with other things going on in The Nobodies Album, don't come to a hasty conclusion. There's a reason why Octavia and Milo haven't spoken in years.

Octavia is in Times Square, going to her publishers to drop off her latest project. It's called The Nobodies Album, a name that came from her son, and is new endings of her earlier works....more
Jennifer
Carolyn Parkhurst's Nobody's Album is about second chances - an author writes a book of alternative endings for past novels, a musician contemplates an updated version of a past album (think "unplugged") and a mother and son get the ultimate Mulligan to reconnect have several years of estrangement. Parkhurst centers her book around Octavia Frost, a novelist whose son, Milo, cut off communication after reading one of her novels that touches on their personal story of the death of the family's fat...more
Joni Daniels
An author who has just finished her latest book - a collection of the last chapters of each of her previously written books re-written to change the endings is one thing, A mother who has an estranged rock start son who has been accused of murdering his girlfriend is another. Put them together and you have a book that I wished had been the latter and not so much of the former. I found the last chapters of book and the rewritten versions of them a distraction from the story. Did he commit the mur...more
Carl
IMHO, the author overreached with this book. Yes, it's a decent (but brief) murder mystery, complete with amateur sleuth digging up the truth, with hints at the truly guilty party sprinkled along the path. The digressions, a writer writing about fiction writing and it's relationship to life, seemed too forced and disjointed. It's confusing to step into the last chapter of a fictional piece of fiction, where you hadn't gotten to know the characters, plot, etc., enough to care (and if you had, it...more
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Question About the Book Ending (contains spoilers) 1 6 Aug 20, 2013 11:21AM  
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Carolyn Parkhurst is an American author who has published two books. Her first, the 2003 best-seller The Dogs of Babel, was a New York Times Notable Book. She followed that effort with Lost and Found in June 2006.

Parkhurst received her B.A. degree from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from American University.

She currently resides in Washington, D.C.
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